A mobile home park is a great place to call home! You can have all the benefits of traditional home-ownership without the burden of tiresome maintenance and excessive property taxes. Mobile home park living is quickly becoming a top choice for our aging population and for good reason – there are many advantages and only a few disadvantages of living in a mobile home park.
The negative stereotype of mobile home parks couldn’t be further from the truth if it tried. Most parks are gorgeous!
The aerial photo below, by Zen Sutherland, shows a beautiful mobile home park with spacious lots in a picturesque setting.
Advantages of Mobile Home Parks
The greatest advantage of living in a mobile home park is affordability. You get to enjoy the perks of homeownership without the burden of paying a property tax or having to maintain the land and utilities.
Many mobile home parks are age-restricted, most being 55+ neighborhoods. This is a perfect setup for retirees that appreciate limited disturbances and enjoy the company of those within their own age range. There’s something to be said about the quiet in a 55+ park – it’s so peaceful and serene.
Some parks are more family-oriented which is great for families with small children – a best friend is bound to be found just a few houses down. Childhood memories made in a mobile home park are often cherished. When a park is managed correctly, with proper background checks and safety protocols, the entire community becomes a safety net for the children within the park.
Here’s a list of the greatest advantages of mobile home park living:
- Cost. Land rental fees typically include water, sewer, garbage, and recycling pickup.
- No property taxes.
- No overly close neighbors. You’ll never have to beat the ceiling with a broom again!
- Minimal maintenance. Property maintenance is minimal but you’ll want to make sure the park hires professionals like Moreno Valley arborists to cut trees.
- Small yards. Your yard will be easily maintainable but you still have endless potential.
- Location. Often times, parks are conveniently situated, many with an amazing view of ponds and lakes.
- Pets are usually allowed.
- Homeownership Perks. You can upgrade, paint, or completely remodel anytime you want.
- Age and population restrictions. Those living in a like-minded community are oftentimes happier and feel safer.
- Community perks include pools, fitness centers, and regularly scheduled community events.
Disadvantages of Mobile Home Parks
The biggest disadvantage of mobile home parks is the horrible stereotype attached to them. All that matters, though, is that you know the truth about the homes and the communities – who cares what ‘they’ think?
The affordable lifestyle of mobile home living is perfect for anyone that wants to live life making memories instead of mortgage payments.
Another disadvantage of mobile home park living is a poor home appreciation potential. Manufactured homes can and do appreciate but those situated within a community have a harder time. However, with the aging population (baby boomers) and a new value placed on living within your means, that aspect may be slowly turning around.
- Investment appreciation. Mobile homes can appreciate but being in a park limits the rate
- Mobile homes set up in a park may be harder to sell than a traditional house. However, with the baby boom, this seems to be a non-issue these days.
- Park owners can sell the park with very little notice. (Co-op parks are becoming more popular and completely remedies this issue.)
- Home transportation is tricky. Some homes are too old to be transported in a regular manner making the cost to move a home more than the home’s value.
- There is a stigma attached to living in a mobile home park.
Related: Is the Mobile Home Stigma Disappearing?
Share Your Story of Mobile Home Park Living!
Do you live in a mobile home park? Tell us about your beautiful community in the comments below. We’d love to hear your opinions!
As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!
Image Sources: All images found on Flickr. Featured Image by Lynn Friedman, Image 1 by Zen Sutherland, Image 2 by Bill V., Image 3 by William Byrd.
108 thoughts on “Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Home Parks”
My biggest concern is arbitrary and capriccious rules over picky things. Having to get permission to do anything to your leased property. Like plant a bush How is this the freedom of home ownership? Looking for comments how it really is?
It is a nightmare. In the last 2 years we have had TWO sewage backups into the home. Thousands in damages. Mgmt. does NOTHING. Found out today after rummaging through all the paperwork they have given my mom 7 prospectuses and had her sign them – ALL IN THE SAME YEAR. The last one was forged after they decided they would have to change the entire thing so they make US liable for the damage. Well, now that I have all my documentation and PROOF – I am going to take them to court. I have tried everything for 2 yrs! Mom is 82 still has no bathroom floor, walls, toilet – and the entire home needs new flooring. They will pay one way or another. IT IS PARKWOOD MOBILE HOME “COMMUNITY” PORT ORANGE FLORIDA – HAH! Concentration camp! I am stuck here to care for mom or I would not be here. Could not even walk my sweet dog! The Rules – oh wow. You feel like you are ALWAYS waiting for the idiots to slap you w/ another ridiculous WARNING that your grass needs edging! Glad I have the proof. DON’T LIVE IN A MOBILE HOME PARK.
I live in a Mfg. Home Park in Sequim WA. It is very quiet and serene, but the owners do not make an effort
to regularly maintain the grounds, We have to complain to the Park Mgr. We also have to pay Property
Tax to the County for the dwelling only, (not the lot) We are charged according to the value of our Mfg. Home. They determine the value.
With rent and taxes going up, it’s becoming harder for we seniors to afford. We need a Nat’l or State
Rent Control for Senior Mobile Home Parks. Write to legislators.
I live in a family mobile home park in Ottawa Ontario Canada owned by a company who owns a lot of mobile home parks. They also buy up mom and pop operations and fix them up. The lot fees are governed by the landlord tenant act so although the rents do go up each year, they have to stay within those boundaries. Garbage pick up, maintenance of the common areas and snow removal are included in the pad fees. Pets are allowed without any size restrictions. There are a lot of rules but I find they’re good ones. We do have to get permission to build or add anything to our lots (their property) but it’s just a matter of filling out a form which gets approved very quickly in my experience. My neighbours are all wonderful, helpful and friendly people without being obtrusive. I feel very safe here in my community. I chose a mobile home for my retirement years because I still wanted a bit of a garden, a gazebo to sit in and enjoy the plants and the flowers. It’s like living in a bungalow with a little yard to maintain. Just perfect for my needs.
Where can i rent or buy a mobile home?
Good places to look include Facebook marketplace and even realtor.com has mobile homes for sale.
I think you fail to account for the largest disadvantage of mobile home living: that the land you sit on is not yours, and never will be, no matter how many years of paying. So, although you pay no property taxes, you are paying them indirectly. And the park may decide to sell, to a new owner who decides to change rules, evict certain people or certain homes based on age, etc. What you need to encourage is for people to demand of their city councils that they support conversions of commercial park properties to resident owned properties, with bond and government supported financing and help with learning how to manage and run their own park, for their own benefit, and not for some benefit of profiteering by some (usually) out of state owner.
I am aware of a disaster in Scottsdale, AZ where people lived there for decades in a park, and when the owner’s decided not to renew the land lease of the park management, all those people had to go, and they had no where to go. Many had lost everything, because older homes cannot usually be brought into other parks due to age restrictions. It was horrible. This can happen if the people do not have any control over the land their home sits on.
In parks where the residents own their park, the homes do NOT depreciate. In the park I live in, not one of these homes in here is even close to the selling price they once were when new. And I mean in a very good way for the owners. I currently could sell my 1983 for more than I paid for it, because it sits in a park that is resident owned and managed. Please investigate this and report in an article. I know mobile home owners will appreciate it.
I’m 78, live alone, in what, at first, appeared to be a gorgeous senior mobile home park in the high desert in California. Unknown to me, the park was in the process of being purchased by a new owner, apparently a very common occurrence in mobile home parks. First thing out of the box he hands everyone a list of rules and regulations that is more than 30 pages long. Now he hands out ‘Courtesy Notices’ with vague comments about areas for which we are responsible having ‘weeds and debris.’ (the weeds being in fall, plants that have died and the debris being pine needles and pine cones and detritus from animal inhabitation from untended 150 ft pine trees on park property) with orders to clean up or have people come in to do it at the owner’s cost, or about the house paint being faded, chipped, or cracked with no examples of where on the home and orders to repaint the house within 45 days or painters will be sent in to do the job at the homeowners cost, and more all in the name of ‘park aesthetics.’ Although I’m healthy, I do have the usual senior infirmities on occasion that take longer than somewhat to recover from including a back that was in bad shape for over a year preventing me from keeping after the weeds and plants. The deal with the paint is outrageous since the condition of the paint is as good as it was when I moved in. Actually, I’m waiting for the paint to go bad since I don’t like the color but i won’t paint until the place needs it. One small shed exposed to sun and wind could use a coat of paint and was on my to do list. Feeling threatened and with no recourse other than the expense of lawyers and court, I will most likely have to move from this lovely place to find peace of mind.
I LIVE IN AN OVER V55 COMPLEX OFF 202 UNITS , WHERE YIOU BUY THE SHACK AND DO ALL THE MANTANCE . BUT THE OWNER CHARGES RENT AND EVERY YEAR HE CHARGES FULL C P I MONEY . NOW HE WANTS MORE GROUND RENT OF 6% . WHICH I AM TOLD IS RIGHT . BUT AFTER EVERY YEAR OF CPI CHARGES . THIS IS WRONG . PS SORRY LARGE LETTERS BUT THE MACHINE WONT CHANGE AT THE MOMENT . kIND REGARDS SIDNEY MARSHALL
I live in a mobile home which my husband bought 1 year exact to date and I love it. Its spacious, cozy and what our family needed. The land space and parking were a bonus but now I’m being faced with moving due to unkind neighbors and racial discrimination. Plus the park rent was increased within the year and sold after2 months to new owners. We cannot do anything outside without being watched. We chose the right house but the wrong spot and it breaks my heart. We are planning to leave. I love my home so much. This is in PA.
Sorry to hear you are having so many problems. Do you have the option to move your home out of the community? Maybe you can find some property or another community that will work better for you and your family.
Man my Anderson mobile home is so old that they call it vintage now
Your article was very well done. But you spelled quiet as quite in the 3rd line. Please correct if possible.
Thank you, Marshal!
HavenPark just bought our mobile home community along with 2 others in our city. So far the rent increase has been minimal and they are updating many issues. A group is talking about starting a resident association or an HOA. I don’t know enough about them or how they would improve anything. Our park maintains common areas we have trash pick up weekly. Snow removal on the roads is done by the park too. We water & mow our own lots. Our lots are big. We can have big dogs. My neighbors are kind & quiet. I would love information and first hand experience with a resident association or HOA within a mobile home park.
**** ( I did read Anna’s post below and that makes me nervous)
Look up ROCusa.org. They are an organization that is dedicated in helping residents in danger of their park being sold, to buy their park and then learn how to manage it via a cooperative. Living in a park that is resident owned is a responsibility, but far better than living at the whim of a distant owner, or corporation whose only interest is extracting money and spending as little in upkeep that they can get away with. Most states allow some amount of rent increase, and you can bet they will, regardless of any improvements they might have made. There are not enough resident owned parks in this country, and it ought to be something that starts to be lobbied for by people, as resident owned parks are stable, they provide good, reasonable cost living, and are good for the stability of the communities they are located in.
Oh my goodness I have been reading all your comments I just moved into a mobile home co-op Park in New Hampshire and out of the 7 board members four of them have their little clique and they are buddies and the other three are struggling and trying to make this a good Park, but the 4 of the board members in their little clique go to the tenants and spread lies and get the tenants to be on their side so it seems like it’s a losing battle here the meetings are out of control I’ve gone to every meeting the last two meetings they have been hollering and screaming getting in my face leaving the meeting coming back and hollering and screaming more nothing gets accomplished, none of the people here go to the meetings because it’s such a circus, I have contacted the board of manufacturing housing also in the process of trying to get a lawyer I have moved into numerous parks North Carolina New Hampshire different places in New Hampshire this park is really ridiculous, there are no amenities here water is included in your lot rent they have no garbage removal, I think we need to try to get Management in here and remove the treasurer she’s not doing her job she has her nose in everyone else’s business, so my advice to people out there really know what you’re getting into if you have to move into a trailer park before you buy talk to some of the people in there do your homework so you don’t get caught into a mess it’s like everyone is posting I need new management check into the management
I was evicted from pine Haven campground located I. Ocean view N.J. on June 26th due to my 14 year old daughter being on a swing in the campground where there was no sign. I was given the notice at 10 am and had to vacate the premises by 12 noon. I was given 2 hours to pack up 5 years of stuff otherwise they threatened to call the police which is something I could not allow my teen to endure on top of the eviction itself.
Not the only reason for sure.
You forgot two major disadvantages: many mobile home parks sell fixer-upper mobile homes to people, who move in and fix them up. This presents two opportunities for less-scrupulous park managers to effectively swipe the mobile home in its improved condition: (a) by withholding the title & threatening the owner with eviction if they persist on demanding the lawful delivery of the title, and (b) by imposing a levy upon the home due to “nonpayment of utilities” (the owner is suddenly charged up to 10x the rate of a utility, against the contract), refusing to take the late payments and/or giving the home owner 7 days to vacate…the vast majority of owners cannot afford to move the home and end up losing the home, the improvements, everything. Despite involvement of the law, the law is slow to act, the home is lost and sold to another victim. And even if the judgment goes against the park & management, it does not reclaim what the plaintiff(s) lost and the park & management ignore the judgment. This is a well-paying, little-known scam in the industry.
I’m 62 and live in a park in Louisville, Ky. First, residents have to mow their own grass. It’s a mixed age park. Boomer cars and loud exhaust/muffler’s are the norm. The owners don’t allow fences, and there are no ‘official’ boundaries too the lots. The owner’s leave it up to the residents to ‘work it out’. You can imagine the problems that can cause, especially with kids and pets. Dealing with that now. Alot of older homes not being maintained, cluttered lots throughout the park. Bought my home 3+ years ago, and regret my choice of were to set it up. If I could sell it, I would probably loose money.
We are in a similar situation in Hamburg, NY. The “boomer” cars are not an issue, but people on ATV’s, golf carts and mini bikes are. The management leaves a lot to be desired as well. All they say is they are trying to make it a “family friendly” park. They are failing miserably…
Look forward to getting out of mobile home living. Park changed hands and you can set your watch by the $30 annual lot rent increases – $180/month when we bought, now $440/month, hoping they stop when they hit $500. They do maintain the road but all mowing is on the home owner; home owners also pay all utilities, including water, sewer, storm water fee, garbage, and local fire fees. In WV mobile homes, like automobiles, are subject to property taxes.
I live in a Mobile Home Park in Florida, Labeled A Resort ! The Rent with attached Garbage fee and mowing fee at $389.50 a month and looking at about another annual $20 a month rent increase this spring 2020 ! The park consists of a Supposedly over 55 park although there are teenagers under school age children and adult children of Managements family members, driving fast on skate boards and bikes ! It also has a attached RV park with older RV’s with attached rooms and tied down and many being lived in full time as a permanent residence, A newly Added fifty space RV Campground with the entrance/exit passing directly through the Mobile home park. The Mobile Home has by prospectus and in writing a Swimming pool and a club house which they are now forced to share with the other two operations and now does not even comply with Fire Marshal Capacity regulations. and is over crowded.
The management is so dumb as to try to and so far gotten away with operating the entire operation as one business and writes and reascends rules and regulations so frequent that the running joke is if the manager’s mouth is moving you could know she was lying. Forty residents got together and hired an attorney in an attempt to stop 21 major complaints including elder abuse and found that the owner and his lawyers would have every case broken down into separate cases so as to drag it out and cost the residents the maximum amounts of money thus costing more than it was worth and more cost effective to sell and move ? Many residents were afraid to do anything for fear of eviction !
We took Attorney advise and sent certified Packets of mail to the Florida State Attorney General Ashley Moody and the State Office of the Professional Business Regulation and BOTH LOST THE PAPERWORK ! Can you say worthless Agencies and Politicians !
We were told by the Attorney that “Florida Looks After two Groups, Children and Senior Citizens ” My Response is BULL SHAT” ??? Never put a mobile Home or Purchase one in a Park where you do not own the property as in Florida they can and will do anything and everything to take advantage of you.
So sorry to hear your park is managed so poorly. It’s a huge issue across the nation but I’ve found the majority of issues are in the retirement states (FL, TX, AZ, CA). I wish everyone that owned a mobile or manufactured home could also own the land under it or at least be protected against scrupulous park owners trying to bleed everyone dry. Best of luck to you!
I live in California and have been looking for a Mobil Home Park to live in . The space rent is so high!!!!! Starting to think that with the price of a Mobil home and the space rent that it is going to be too expensive to do.
No one in their right mind would EVER retire to CA. We all want to get out.
Hi, I’m 60 thinking about renting a mobile home in a 55+ mobile home park. However, I live in Florida and I’m worried about hurricanes and tornadoes. Any thoughts?
Hurricanes are scary and I absolutely understand your apprehension about mobile homes. Keep in mind that hurricanes will destroy any home. Depending on your exact area in FL and the age of the home, you may just have a manufactured home that was built to withstand up to 110 mph winds (there’s a video on Youtube of the test). That doesn’t mean you can stay in the home during a hurricane, but if it was built to Zone 2 or 3 HUD code with the correct anchoring system, it will be a very well-built home.
As long as you evacuate when needed and keep your favorite things protected as well as possible, you can live comfortably in a beautiful state and in an affordable home. Sounds pretty good to me! Best of luck!
Thank you for posting this. Jve been looking and looking for sn affordable home and all I could fjnd now is a hokme jn a park.one reason iwanted yo buy is to not have a landlord or hoa type brwathing down your neck, having co ntrol ove your ckmings and goings,capricioys asndd arbutraryg rule where you have to walk in eggshells for frar of breakiing a rulle. Im paying cash for a cosmetic fixer, obvioysly the seller didnt follow the rules of keeping the place painted and in good repair. But I like the house perfect fot me and my hobby. The process of applying has not been smotth with unclear communication of the rules, which led me to ask about one important to me and them giving mixed answers, thischas caused a tremendous amount of stress. If that now what later? These commenrs are scaring me.
Well if you really are in a adult community which it is much better than the others since it is much better for us older people.
THERESAANN07@HOTMAIL.COM WE HAVE WELL WATER NEW OWNERS TOOK OVER WE PAY ALOT OF MONEY AND NOW THEE PUTTING METERS ON OUR MOBIL HOMES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN GAUGED BY OFFICALS FOR THE WELL WATTER I DONT KNOW IF IM SAYING THIS RIGHT BUT WE WERE PAYING 243 NOW 350 PLUS CM ING US TO DEATH
I know I’ve answered this comment before but my commenting system in on the fritz so I’m answering it again, sorry. This upsets me because $200-300 a month for WATER is ridiculous. The most I’ve ever paid for water per month was $72 and that was a small town system in southern WV (where all the mines have destroyed our water tables). I would create a group with other mobile home tenants and contact your state’s mobile home park regulation agency (every state is different but you should be able to find it by calling around – start with your town and county government offices. This is crazy and it’s things like this that give parks a bad name.
Best of luck! Please let me know how it goes – if you email me at crystalAdkins@mobilehomeliving.org and let me know more about your location and park I’ll be happy to help. This is too much to pay for water anywhere.
Mobile home parks differ in their rules and regulations. Ours in NJ was just bought out. The restrictions are horrible. We can’t renovate or landscape or do outdoor painting without asking permission! We’re at the mercy of the management office. If you have an older unit that you want to upgrade to resell, they do everything to try to get you to give up and walk away from it so they can install a new unit and rake in a huge profit. We feel like we have no rights at all. We pay the highest rents in the park and pay for all the utilities. It’s no bargain!!!
Some parks are terrible. It sounds like your park is one of those overreaching HOAs you hear about in gated communities. I’m a big believer in the power of the people. Maybe you can create a tenant group and try to get some of the harsher rules changed. I’m sure there is some kind of leverage when a new company comes in – I would think they need to abide by the old contract till it ends? (I’m not very smart about park rules, sorry).
Best of luck!
I live in a mobile park for the last 13 years in the past 3 years its gone down new management we have speeding cars loud music and cars parked on tiny street now i’m looking for land to move my home out
I moved back to Wis because of my age my daughter wanted me if I needed any help.
I sold my double wide home in Yucca Valley, Ca. It is the upper desert and is 30 or so mile East of Palm Springs. We put over $40K in it and in 2006 paid $80K. Took a big loss. But, I would like to get another
home. I will try to attach some pictures to this. I don’t know if I can do it. It is a nice place to see. Marji
Apparently, the California housing market is absolutely insane. I’m sorry you took a loss. I don’t sell homes or even know a real estate agent personally. If you want to buy property with an older mobile home on it you should be able to look on Zillow.com or Craigslist.com. Those two sites will be your best bet.
As far as sharing your remodel – heck yeah, I want to see/share them. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be waiting!
We’ve just moved to the park here. What rights do we have living in a mobile home park? Is there anyone in local government that could help?
Every state is different but most have a website that will share the information you need. Google your state’s name along with words like mobile home park regulations or mobile home park laws. That should get you to the rabbit hole that most fall into whenever they visit government websites. Best of luck!
I live in a 55+ mobile home park in upstate New York. Every year the lot rent goes up and get no amenities in return. We mow our own lawn, plow own snow, take garbage to a dumpster up front. We have no rec area, community center or nothing here. I have a single wide home and one of the smallest lots in the park. $405.00 per month. The owner has added 12 new homes this year , but rent goes up. The owner of the park keeps our star program exemption also to lower his school taxes. It has always been if rent is paid by the 25th of next months rent deduct $30.00 from rent. He has us all screwed here, as where can we go? It costs tooooo much to move. I just spent $7,000.00 for a car port he said I had to have. Had I know that the lot rent was going up, I would never have spent that money. At the homeowners expense we are improving the looks of his lots. What recourse do we have? When asked about the increase he says it is a cost of living raise, well how many years no increase in SS benefits or our expenses went up. Thank you for listening to me.
Some park owners forget that parks aren’t a perpetual ATM. Owning parks is very profitable (otherwise why would anyone do it). I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Perhaps you can join other in the park and make complaints to the park manager and owners?
Best of luck!
I just pd my mh off… 20 years and it’s worth nothing. It was made cheaply, but I needed a place in the school district fast and had no other choice. Bought it new in a park. Bad thing to do, but it had to be done. Lot rent pays nothing but the lot. No water, garbage pick up, and in the last couple of yrs we have to pay a personal tax It started at 160 and is now 313 per month. I woke up the other morning to chain saws cutting down trees, including a ten yr old corkscrew willow I had planted next to my driveway. No warning, no reason as to why, just went thru the park cutting randomly it seemed. The rules change with each mgr. That really causes problems. The police are constantly in here, no dogs over 25 lbs, but there are pit bulls loose, and other lg dogs. I am sure there are nice parks. But anything owned by Clayton/Yes Communities is not nice. Looks are deceiving!
I have enjoyed reading thru some of the articles so very much, thank you, thank you. I do live in a double wide mobile home here in Albuquerque. I have enjoyed living in it for almost seven years. Now the time has come for some updating and I am looking for new ideas. I want to make my mobile home look better and be water tight. We are have leaks from the porch down the side of the Mobile Home and it seems to be the cause of quite a bit of wood ride around the casings. I am not sure whether to paint and repair wood or try to have new siding installed.
Thank you for your kind words, Peggy! I would do whatever is needed to find and repair the leak first. New flashing may work if you have valleys where the water is running off. If it’s shingled you can lay your new shingles down in special patterns that will help reduce leaks.
Once the leak is fixed then you can start replacing the wood that has been damaged. Take this opportunity to add new and improved insulation on the exterior walls of your home. Exterior sheathing is always a good idea if you don’t have it.
After all that you can add the new siding and be assured that your home is water tight and well maintained.
Please take photos of the repairs. I would love to see the before and after. Best of luck!
You’re definitely going to want to repair the leak first. Then you should replace any rotten wood and then paint.
I just wanted to comment on your article because I live in a mobile home and we may yearly taxes. Our monthly park rates include water and land rental but it does not include taxes which are about 400.00 a year. I would also add to the list of disadvantages that some of the older trailers are not as well insulated as the new ones currently being built, so if you are going to live in it for all 4 seasons and you live in an area that gets snow and colders temperatures have your trailer inspected to make sure if was built for 4 season use. Some of the older models are scattered through trailer parks and they can get quite cold in the winter and cause high heating bills.
Great tips, Tobey, thanks so much for taking the time to comment!
I’m seeing more people add tiny woodstoves in northern climates that get real low temps in the winter. I just saw a video on youtube this week from a couple living in a 32′ trailer. He said he was spending $350 per winter on electric heat because of living in a snowy area. But with a small woodstove he is using 1/2 a cord all winter and it heats the whole place. I’ve also been seeing videos about singles living in conversion vans, who have put in a tiny woodstove. A great idea I think.
In WV (where I’m from), we use a lot of coal and wood stoves. If you work in a (thermal coal) mines the company usually gives you a ton or two free each year so it makes heating much cheaper. My grandma still uses coal heat furnace and there’s no other heat like it – it’s so warm! I think by the time you account for mining, transportation, cleaning and transporting to the power plants you’ll find heating with coal and wood to be the more environmentally sound choice in addition to the more affordable choice. I wrote an article about installing wood stoves in mobile homes here.
Thanks for commenting!
We have a mobile, in a 55 and over park, however only one person has to be 55. The other can be younger. We also pay taxes on our mobile each yr. The problem as I see it is that owners/managers seem to think that they have the right bully people, and if you don’t like it then you will be evicted? The seem to see themselves as gods, which allows them to pick and choose who they will pick on next. We have a tiny stripe in front for our garden. We love working in it and have made it a beautiful place to be. We are always being told how beautiful it is, however the people on both sides of us don’t take care of their yards at all, but management just lets it go by. Playing favorites, is ugly.
Parks are only as good as their managers. It’s such a disappointment when a park has so much potential but it isn’t managed properly.
There is power in numbers. Form a group and see if they management will listen to your complaints. In a lot of parks the owners have no idea what’s going on in the park as long as they get the money. Go above the manager’s head and make sure the owners know what’s happening.
Best of luck!
I understand exactly what you’re saying because the mgr’s here are the same way! If they laid down rules and said that EVERYONE WILL ABIDE BY THEM OR ELSE…… you would have the choice of not moving in. The yard thing bothers me too….Some care, some don’t.
I live in a park that is very heavily wooded. $415 is the lot rent and they pay nothing nor do they maintain the grounds other than the common areas. My average bill with garbage, water and sewer runs about $480. I have to mow and rake my yard. If you don’t keep your area, they will fine you. They do run an extensive back ground check. I’ve lived here a little over a year and for the most part, I’m happy. Although it’s a family park and I’m older, its mostly quiet and I feel safe. I spend about as much as I would for a 1 bedroom upstairs apartment if you include my small mortgage but it will be paid off in 2 1/2 years. It’s in a country setting but close to the Interstate. Downtown Atlanta is only 20 minutes away with good traffic. The Park has a swimming pool, a large room you can rent for parties but that’s it for amenities. The Park is owned by Harmony Homes and they also rent. I have a 3 bed 2 bath home with a nice sized kitchen and living room for a single wide. I am happy here and do not regret my decision one bit!
Sounds like a nice park! I’m a firm believer that parks are only as good as their management. atI’m pretty limited in my experience of parks – all the ones I’ve been around in WV, NC, and FL included mowing and tree service, road maintenance, and at least water and/or trash. I understand a lot of parks aren’t like that.
Thanks for commenting!
I got lucky and found a 1955 Bunn mobile home in a nice 55+ park in Largo Fl. I wanted a ‘tiny home’ and this was perfect at 175 square feet inside and a lanai that doubled the living space. I knew that because of the size no one was beating down the door to buy it so my offer of $1500.00 (asking price $3,000.00) was accepted. Partially remodeled with new floors and cabinets it leaves just enough for me to personalize the space to my taste. http://www.westbayoaks.com
I do have to pay property taxes, though not very much (the equivalent of a month’s rent.) We have no pool or fitness centre or spectacular views, nor do we have community events. The advantage is that we are located five minutes walk from grocery store, drugstore, restaurants, hardware store — basically every amenity you could ask for. I chose a home with no lawn, but some of the houses do have lawns that need to be mowed, and my next-door neighbour recently hired somebody to trim a bunch of trees that were hanging over his back fence from a vacant lot.
1978 is the year that the HUD code took effect. Home built after June, 1978 have to meet federally mandated regulations and every home is inspected by a third-party at the factory upon completion. Before that, there were no standards at all and a lot of homes were unsafe and poorly constructed. Of course, there were some builders that were manufacturing some great homes before 1978.
Best of luck!
I found a great mobile home that I love, but I worry the park its in is overpriced. It’s well lit and clean but no amenities, but they seem to charge a lot more than I expected from the others in town I looked at. I feel like I’m in a tough decision since I’m in love with house but don’t like paying that much for just basic lot rent. Any ideas or advice?
Take a walk through the park and knock on doors. Not including any amenities seems a little odd though. Follow your gut, if you have reservations about it keep looking!
Best of luck!
IN your article, you stated that the greatest advantage of living in a mobile home park is affordability and you get to enjoy the perks of home ownership without the burden of paying a property tax or having to maintain the land and utilities. My cousin and his wife have been looking for a new home and a someone suggested that a mobile home could be a good choice. I wonder if the process of buying a mobile home is different from a regular home.
There are a few differences between buying a manufactured home and a site-built home. Manufactured homes tend to have less financing options available to those that do not own their own land. Typically, if you are placing a manufactured home in a park you will need to pay cash for the home or finance it through a manufactured home dealership. Low-interest mortgages through banks and other lending institutions are more difficult to acquire and interest rates tend to be higher even for those with great credit history.
Living in a manufactured home community is a great decision for many families but there are some issues. The financing limitations and the ever-increasing lot rent are the two issues that seem to plague manufactured home communities across the country.
Best of luck to your cousin!
I am so psyched to have found this website. I am currently trying to buy a mobile home in the bay area of northern california. A single family home here costs about 650k. A brand new mobile home is 300-350k. The lot rent in san jose is $900/month.
The process so far has been quite horrendous. The park approval process is in its 3rd week, the park manager refuses to receive any documents electronically and insists everything comes via snail mail.
Good luck Margaret! I’m in awe of some of the parks in CA – they are so nice! I hope everything works out for you!
Margaret I hope you went to another park, you should not have to deal with that kind of behavior. I use to be in Real Estate in the bay area, north county, and I always told prospective buyers, once they had found an area they liked, to visit it on weekends and different times of the day, get out and walk around and talk to people, ask questions like what is good and or bad about the neighborhood. I think this still applies, get out of the car, walk around. You will find out in a hot second if this is a place for you. Ask, do you like living here? Believe me it works. Be for warned before you go to any manufactured home park, know the park rules and things like lease versus month to month rent, which managers will never tell you about. And remember that mobile homes sold by anyone other than a licensed realtor do not have to abide by seller disclosure laws in California. Be informed and you will get so much more out of the experience. My park is the best in the County and I took 18 months and went to every park in two counties before I made my choice. I wouldnt go back to a stick built because I enjoy the peace and quiet of a senior park.
I don’t know if this is a nationwide thing, but make SURE if you do choose a park that your utility bill (particularly electric) is YOUR bill and not submetered by the park. Because that’s definitely not something they’ll tell you about in my experience, but you want your city/county/co-op reading your meter to determine your bill, NOT park management. (Mine once tried claiming a 14′ X 56′ single-wide with minimal appliances had a $500+ electric bill, and then dropped it to $190.)
I’m in Texas, fwiw, and the park management I was originally dealing with submetered theirs for years and illegally tacked on charges (yard fines which are a very common rip-off, in-park speeding tickets which they had no authority to levy as far as I can recall, etc.) as a routine thing. We literally talked to the city code people and all that happened was “oh, if you can get enough people together you can file a class-action lawsuit”. This is a working-class neighborhood (with a fair number of people who aren’t necessarily English-fluent) and we were all understandably worried about getting evicted if we tried suing, so that went nowhere. (It’s illegal, but that wouldn’t have stopped that crew.)
At the moment the current management doesn’t even put a telephone number on their rent bill, does not reliably staff the office even on rent day, and the usual office dude claims the owner is in California and has continued to add yard and upkeep fines as a relatively common thing.)
So yes, most DEFINITELY talk to the people you see in the park. If it’s a good one, they’ll let you know, and if the park itself is okay but management is shady as all get-out, they’ll probably let you know that too.
Thank you so much for this information, Quinn. I had no idea that a park could (or would) do that. A park is only as good as it’s management and boy, I’ve heard about some terrible managers.
You should at least try to report them to your attorney general’s office or your state agency that oversees manufactured homes (I’d say Texas has a HUD department, though).
I am looking into buying a mobile home, I am a single mom who lives with her daughter in Las Vegas, but I want to go back to San Jose where I lived for 15 years when I was married and owned a regular condo with my ex-husband. You mentioned that you live in one or the best parks in San Jose, could you tell me which one, since I want to move back and I am thinking either to buy a regular condo in Las Vegas, which the cost of living is cheaper, or buy a mobile home in SJ.
I would appreciate any advise that you can give me and your experience of living and owning a mobile home.
Thank you very much in advance.
Look in Santa Cruz County as there is mobile home rent control in the county which makes the rents at 1/3 of your stated San Jose rate. Also look for parks owned by the residents as there are many of them in California and in the Bay Area. Google “resident owned parks” in California. Coop parks in California appreciate just like any other real estate here. San Diego and Palm Springs areas all have large numbers of parks and many are resident-owned. I bought in a coop park five years ago and my initial investment has more than doubled in value. My friend in the UK tells me that I live in a caravan…I thought that was charming….
Thanks for the great information, Patti!
I like that you point out that mobile home parks are good for retirees that appreciate limited disturbances. My neighbors are a couple years away from retirement. They get a little grouchy when my children get too loud while playing outside. I’ll have to ask them if they have thought about moving into mobile home park because it will be quieter for them.
This is funny, i like it.
Your state should have an agency that handles park licensing and such but it will likely be part of a larger division so you’ll need to ask around. The Better Business Bureau may be able to point you in the right direction. Unfortunately, there is no federal unit that I know of. HUD handles the laws and regulations for the industry but I’m pretty sure they leave the parks for the states to handle.
I have found that going vocal on social media (in a respectful manner) will at least gain the attention of the park owners (they usually have no idea what is going on in the parks as long as the money is right every month).
Best of luck!
I must of had a real senior moment when I thought it would be a good idea and sell my house and move into a mobile home park. I do like my new single wide. Just the perfect size for me and very well built. Since I wanted to stay in the area my options were limited. Plus were only two lots available in this park. One next to a barking dog and the main road. The other next to a empty house. But 2 weeks later these people moved in and their place looks like a DUMP! Once it got warm the parting started right outside my window. After about 2 months and enough people complainted the manger/owner finally did something but there is still stuff all over the place and now 4 more people have moved in. Sad when people come up to you and say sorry you have to live next to that. If I had it to do all over again I would have never moved.
Parks are either really awesome or really awful – with only a few in-between. Ideally, every park would be managed well and kept clean but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
Is there any way a few of you can ban together and ask the park to update the rules and bylaws of the park? Perhaps if you show the manager (or owners) that these issues will not be tolerated you can get some changes made?
I do hope it all straightens out for you. Not all parks are bad, I promise! Usually bad management equals bad parks though.
The park has a lot of rules but they are not enforced.
Hi Crystal! I have owned and lived in my mobile home for seven years now and love it! It was built in 1976, so it’s getting old, but still in great shape! I’ve read some of the above letters and feel badly for the people who are living in not-well-run, park. Our Manager is top notch! She’s in the office 5 days a week, 6 hours a day. If we have a request, or complaint….she’s on it ASAP! If she can’t find someone to address the situation, she frequently shows up at the house to see if it’s something she can help with! Our park is well maintained, pretty and not too expensive! I highly recommend this lifestyle!
We live in a family mobile community. We do not like living here…management is difficult to deal with. Cost is too much over $500 per month and only includes garbage pick-up. Monthly lot rent goes up every year $17-$20. We received a violation for fixing our car. We were fixing our brakes…fixing our car is not an everyday ordeal. Management told us if we did this again…we would be evicted. They don’t offer an alternative place to work on cars. The majority of residents are in poverty level and as such have old cars and are need of fixing. Where do residents go to fix autos. We are very unhappy at this park and are going to sell and buy a little home. Will never live in a mobile park again!
Sorry you’re unhappy!
I’ve heard about the same issues at apartment complexes. Friend of mine needs new brake pads installed – it would take maybe 2 hours for all 4 wheels – but she can’t do it anywhere on the complex property. Brake fluid is highly toxic so that’s probably a big reason they don’t allow it – parks are responsible for the runoff and if the EPA comes in and does a random field test and finds brake fluid residue the whole park could be condemned. It’s a slippery slope….
The problem with managing communities like this is that if they allow one person to replace brake pads then the person that wants to replace a transmission feels they should be able to do the same. And, since, most people don’t know anything about car repair they think all car repair is the same.
Lot rent is increasing every year in just about every state (but so is property taxes). I read most tenants get $100-200 increases each year.
Sorry your park isn’t working out for you! I hope you find the place of your dreams!
Additionally, it’s not allowed in condo communities or any planned community with an HOA. It’s not allowed in my community and each lot and house is owned by each resident.
We can’t have non-op cars or those without current tags.
I would also think that a list of park rules was given to each resident or at some point early on in the process.
We live in a mobile home park. We have the greatest neighbors and are located close to I-93, lots of places to eat and shop, and we are close to all the Schools. Our biggest issue is the Park Manager/Owner is also a tenant, and he consistently violates all of his own Park rules, but forces the other tenants to abide by them. We recently organized a tenant’s association and sent him a letter requesting he post the office hours on the door to the Office so people knew when they could go in and pay their rent. The Office was never open anymore and it was frustrating to our tenants. We also requested he consider putting in a drop box so tenant’s could pay their rent this way. He then posted a notice on the office door stating all rent was to be paid through the mail by check. The Office has been closed for around a year and a half now and his employee has been telling tenants the Office is now closed indefinitely, yet he never notified us of this. If you send him letters inquiring about things in the Park, he ignores them. We sent another letter requesting that he consider replacing some of the missing street signs in the Park, and it was again ignored. We have around 170 lots and when people come to visit from out of the area, they can easily get lost in here. Some of the streets are confusing. Although we have a number of members in the association, they seem to be afraid of him and appear to not want him to know they are members. If tenants put their homes up for sale, he finds a reason to deny the sale. He then waits until the tenant is so desperate to sell, that he buys it for a few thousand dollars, then immediately sells it for the same price the tenant was asking for it. People are trapped here. If the seller were to make a complaint about him interfering with the sale of their home to the Housing Board, the new buyer certainly wouldn’t want to live in a park with this kind of management. Any suggestions?
It sounds like you’re taking the right steps by forming the tenant’s association. If this park is owned by a corporation I’d send them a formal complaint. Out-of-state owners often don’t know what goes on day-to-day in their parks (as long as the numbers look good and the reports are done they assume it’s all being ran properly).
Other than that, you may be able to file a complaint through your state’s park regulator. Each state has one, they just call them different things and are often part of a bigger branch (like HUD or Business Licensing via the Secretary of State).
Best of luck to you!
We’ve spent the last month and a half remodeling our new acquisition : a double wide. Our first home together. And it’s all ours! We moved in this weekend and I absolutely love it! We’ve had the past month to get to know the neighbors as we did work on the house, and now that we’re actually living in it, I couldn’t ask for anything better! We own the unit outright (paid cash), and pay the same for the land rent as we were paying for rent for our tiny one-bedroom condo previously. It’s beautiful. And, yes, get over the stigma. I live in a mobile home park, and I LOVE it! Friendly people, everyone waves and chats, paved streets, well-lit, pride of ownership abounds. Thank you for posting this article and making me feel even better about our decision.
I bet your home is gorgeous and even better, it is all yours and you can do whatever you want to it! I wish you all the best in your new home! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
(PS I’m always looking for updates and remodels to share. If you would consider it please email at email@example.com). Thank you so much!
May I ask where did you buy your mobile home. I live in Las Vegas where the cost of living is cheaper but is so hot down here and I would like to move back to California or San Jose, where I used to live with my ex husband and daughter. Since I divorced I moved to Vegas with my daughter but I am thinking to buy a mobile home and know there are bad stigmas about them.
I would appreciate any advice.
Our single wide is in a small town in southern West Virginia. It sits on a half an acre. We are currently living in North Myrtle Beach, SC for better work opportunities and a much better school for our daughter (her school’s roof collapsed and the entire building was condemned). We are renting here but hoping to save up enough to buy a double wide.
I’ve never been past the Mississippi River so I’m pretty clueless. Best of luck!
Tell me what is the advantage and diadavange of regular condo with mobile home in Pacific palsaides , and how long you can stay there and what is the different
natasha please send me this articiale to me
You would probably need to speak to a real estate agent to get the best answers to your questions. I do believe that a manufactured home in a park would be much cheaper per square foot in that area and you would have lower home owner’s association fees as well. Manufactured homes are typically preferred over condos because there are no shared walls and you have your own yard, even if only a small one. Most parks in that area are protected so once you buy the home you can rent the land for as long as you want.
Best of luck!
Hi Crystal, thanks for a great article. Currently im renting a small cellar apartment but by years end will be buying a mobile or condo.. Im hoping mobile but being 49 stinks lol .. single no kids but most in my area are 55 plus why is it .. they cant be 30 plus.. Do they have parks like that? Being single I can go anywhere but i love new england seasons… Danny
I’m was in the same exact boat as you!
When we lived in FL our only options in our price range for renting were run-down parks or single dwelling homes. We could get a nice little house in a fairly safe neighborhood for only a $100 dollars more a month than what the parks wanted so that’s what we did. The 55+ parks were in our range and looked fantastic but we couldn’t live there.
To be honest, I don’t think there are any parks like that though I think it would be a smart business venture if someone had the money. Parks are only as good as their management so it’s a real toss up and no two seem to be the same. Good luck on finding a place!
Yes! You can reach it by clicking on the Contact/Get Featured link directly under the Buy & Sell link on the top menu bar. You can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a great article! 7 months ago we purchased our double wide in a 55 and older park. We put our farmhouse, build in 1897 for sale and the rest is history!! We LOVE it!! Making this move allowed my husband to retire from teaching, he has never been happier. I love the easy care of the small home, downsizing is a good thing! We could never have imagined how wonderful would be to be in the park, it has met our expectations and it has giving us peace of mind financially. We did not want to spend the rest of our lives taking care of a big yard, big house and big heating bills!. I am so happy to see the movement towards less of a footprint in the environment and to do with a little less of the material things I thought I had to have. We have not giving up anything by making this move, the gains have been 100% for the better. I am so happy with our new home and with our new community.
So great to hear how happy you are Ana! Thanks so much for commenting and for reading MHL – I appreciate you and hope to hear from you lots more!
We bought a mobile home in a park as our very first home together. The one we purchased was in serious need of renovations, but for the price we figured it would be worth it. We enjoy having our own home, yard and parking spaces. The park that we live in has many families which will be nice when we have a baby. The park is paved, well lit and has a little park area for the children. Currently we are debating getting a double wide in the same park.
It’s always great to hear positive experiences with mobile home parks. I think they are all awesome and all have great potential to be wonderful communities.
Thanks so much for commenting! I hope to hear from you more – let us know if you buy the double wide!
I did not know about co-op owned mobile home parks until I read your article.
That sounds interesting! Not owning the land is something my husband and I really want to avoid.
Do you know of a directory that lists such parks?
So far I have only found some in CA and in FL..
We are interested in moving to the Pacific Northwest or to North Carolina.
Or, if we find something here, we stay in New Mexico.
How ironic! We have been talking about moving back to NC or taking a leap of faith and going to Northern CA (somewhere near a beach). We probably won’t ever actually move but it’s fun to think about it and dream a bit!
To answer your question, the only place I know with ample information on co-ops is ROC. They help owners buy the communities but I also found a list of communities on their website. I learned that about 2% of all parks in the nation are co-ops. That’s more than I figured! Here’s the link: http://www.rocusa.org/communities/community-album/default.aspx
Thank you so much, Crystal!
I can answer your question somewhat. I am aware of 2 parks in Tucson, AZ that are cooperatives. They are both 55+ parks. I don’t believe there is a single cooperative park in New Mexico. California has quite a few, and Oregon has a number of cooperatives. There are some in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and a ton in the upper North East (Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire) as well as the aforementioned Florida, which I would never consider living due to heat, hurricanes, and climate change which will inundate Florida with flooding in the not too distant future. Look up ROCusa.org, which is a non profit dedicated to helping mobile home owners in parks to purchase and then manage their parks when they come up for sale. In Tucson, AZ the two parks are Comanche Wells Mobile Home Park, and Far Horizons WEST (not East). Comanche Wells has a website. That is where I live. It is probably the best park in the country.
I bought a home in a beautiful community and love it! Mail almost at your door, walking trails, the park is set back from the main road quite a bit with a beautiful tree lined road to the entrance. This is my first manufactured home and I don’t think I could have found a better place to live. I had to jump a few hurdles to get into the park, but it was definitely worth the time and effort.
Hi there! We own a 55+ community in St Petersburg, FL. My grandfather bought it in the 60’s, my mother then became manager, and now I am the next in line to take over! I have a back ground in art and interior design, so as I am learning the biz, in and out, I am also bringing the park into the future with updates and home remodels. It really has bugged me my whole life (growing up in the manager’s residence) getting the stereotype of this sort of community. I am on a mission to change that perception. Our park is well maintained, and well run by caring management and staff! Our residents love our home AND it’s rules! I hope to inspire the many, many, many mobile parks in this area that THIS way of life is the FUTURE, to be PROUD of it, and always EVOLVE to be better!!! 🙂
Hi Kat! It’s great to hear from you! I firmly believe that a park can only be as good as its management – they are the heart of the park. It sounds like yo have the passion and the know-how and you’ll be perfect for the job!
Keep us updated on your progress – I’d love to feature great parks in addition to great homes. I think its important to show the world what real mobile home living is all about! Thanks for commenting – I look forward to hearing from you more!
We live in a very nice Mobile Park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
I am a 5 minute bicycle ride from the beach,Ferry Beach State Park.
I do miss living in St Petersburg’s Americana Cove.
We are definitely qualified for over 55.
Kat, where is your park located?
Kat, do you allow 3 pets or know of any that do in your area? We have 2, 13 pound Jack russells and a 25 pound Sheltie.
I would have bought in a mobile home park, but for the fact that I have three dogs, two 30 pounders and a 50 pounder. It’s very hard to find a park that will allow three dogs, much less large ones. I also wan5ted a fenced yard, so I didn’t have to always have the dogs on a leash. The other thing is I have two campers, and wanted to have them at home as well as have friends visit in their campers. So, I bought a manufactured home on a cul de sac street with 11 other mobiles. We all have an acre, so yes, we have mowing to do but the dogs now have a fenced yard, my campers are here and my friends can visit. Someday, when my dogs are gone and I’m too old to mow, I will move into a mobile home park, but for now I’m happy in my mobile home community.
Hi Hunter! Sounds like you have a great place and made the right decision for your current situation! I hope to move into a park after we retire too. There was some parks in FL that I visited and they were so beautiful – huge ponds with beautiful fountains in the middle and the whole place was landscaped beautifully. It was amazing!
Crystal, will you retire to Florida? That’s where I live. I’m on the outskirts of The Villages. I have the advantages of The Villages, the shopping, restaurants and nightly entertainment… as well as drives through beautifully manicured spaces and lakes and golf courses, even polo! I have none of the disadvantages, the cost, the HOAs.
Hi Hunter! We lived in Sarasota for about 3 years – it’s where my daughter was born so FL has been very good to us but I don’t think we’ll make it that far south again. An 18 hour drive is a bit too far for us to be away from WV so I’m thinking the coast of NC or GA will be ideal.
My husband did a lot of plumbing work in FL parks and when I was his helper I was amazed at how fancy and beautiful those FL parks were! I never knew a community could be that nice!
I’m so glad you love your home! There’s nothing like being truly content and happy with your surroundings – it makes life even sweeter!